Sustainable housing, remote planes, and football dummies.

Mikaela Van Soelen— Staff Writer

The theme of the next few weeks for Dordt students across campus is “just get ‘er done” as students wrap up classes, major assignments, and final exams. In that spirit, the senior engineering students are working on finalizing semester-long projects that they have been pouring into since January. 

Over the years, these engineering projects have proven to be a distinct learning point for engineering students. They have worked on projects that have helped mission organizations abroad, come up with solutions to farming and manufacturing issues, and more. From working on sustainable housing to building tackling dummies, this year’s group has some highly impressive projects that are worth the hype.

One group took on the challenge of designing and engineering a remote-control miniature plane that can haul crates while also extending and retracting a stable sensor. Among these group members are Patrick Terhark, Zachary Sanford, Branden Lesondak, Kyle Meinder, and Joseph Wanninger. 

“Our design project is implemented by Dordt students participating in the AIAA Design Build Fly Competition” Sanford said, “Our goal as Dordt students was to get Christians involved in a worldwide competition such as the steel bridge, concrete canoe, and now the AIAA Design Build Fly.” 

Sanford found the most unique aspect of the senior engineering projects was the ability to involve people in the Siouxland area. Each of these projects are an act of service to make improvements to ordinary life for community members. The members this engineering team are happy to announce that they were able to successfully fly their plane, named “Noah’s Dove,” and are waiting for results from the judges of the AIAA DFC organization on the status of their project. 

Another team has partnered with Habitat for Humanity in South Sioux City to build housing for low-income families. The design of these homes is meant to be easy to build and replicate, making it a sustainable option for the organization. This team includes Benjamin Heuvelhorst, Mitchell Wall, Tyler Bouma, Sawyer Strelnieks, Halle Nanninga, and Jessica Oules. Each member comes from a different engineering background, allowing them to work together to improve the lives of many in need of housing assistance.

Not only are students working to better communities outside of Dordt, but many have been focusing on improvements on campus as well. A team of three students is working on erosion control from Dordt watershed, hoping to reduce erosion in the campus prairie. Another group of engineers has been working with Dordt football coach Joel Penner to design a remote-controlled tackling dummy for athletes to use at practice, giving the players a more realistic experience.

This year’s senior engineering class is working on a wide variety of projects focused on different problems to be solved. Each project will have an impact, both on the students who have put hours of time into their projects and the communities that will benefit from their work.

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